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Somewhere in the Light

“Leaning Toward the Light” — photo-poetic reflection on geographical as well as internal journeys. The photos where shot in several countries, such as Colombia, Turkey, France and Italy.

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Katinka Igelberg is a Swedish based photographer and writer who approaches art as a poetic exploration. She attempts to reach for something invisible or seamlessly insignificant, and hopes to find a way to communicate the sudden impulse of necessity hidden within the mundane.

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Interviews: Aaron Simon

For N12, we interviewed our contributors on their lives outside the notebook.
Writer Aaron Simon reflects on college football and the cured meats of Sardinia.

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How do you take notes on the road?

I like to carry a little notebook with me most places I go. I tend to record things I hear and jot stuff down as it happens as opposed to recapping a whole day after the fact. I also misunderstand things I hear quite a bit, which provides extremely good material for poetry. Continue Reading…

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En Route: High on a Hill

On a hilltop high above the Tibetan town of Gyangste, a tiny red and white castle sits above a scraggly and dusty hillside made golden by the setting sun. Seeming to float above the crumbling cement rooftops of the town, it’s the sort of place that would house a beautiful princess, or stand strong in the face of dragons, emerging from the mountain almost as if by nature. Continue Reading…

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Off the Shelf: Yashar Kemal

A cauldron where fact, fantasy and folklore are stirred to produce poetry. He is a storyteller in the oldest tradition, that of Homer, spokesman for a people who had no other voice.

— Praise from director Elia Kazan on Turkish writer Yashar Kemal.

Kemal’s novels and short stories give both insight into the struggles of his people of the Chukurova Plain and entry into these people’s collective consciousness, an awareness deeply connected to the land on which they live. Continue Reading…

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Expats: Sinking States

Photo by Kiribati Government.

Riding on the invisible lasso of the equator in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, an island is quietly submerging into the sea. The Independent and Sovereign Republic of Kiribati is a 310-square mile island nation located between Australia and Hawaii, and it’s sinking. With sea levels rising rapidly, scientists predict that the 32 islands of Kiribati will disappear in the next 50 years.

“What happens to us in the future? Do we disappear as a culture?” asks the country’s president Anote Tong. As captain of a sinking ship he has every right to panic. “These are the issues that keep me awake.” Continue Reading…

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Objects: Stamps

We’re collectors: stamps, postcards, matchbooks, magnets, the myriad small things that accumulate while traveling. Our far-flung friends often send us photos of treasures they’ve come across, with descriptions of why they caught their eye. Here is one of those found objects.

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It was never cool, as a millennial, to collect stamps. And time just made it lamer actually, especially in the digital age.

“Why do you collect stamps?”  Continue Reading…

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Longform: The Drifting Fog

Much of that summer I spent in the bleachers, twirling my whistle until the rope wrapped up my finger, then twirling it the other way. England was wet, with trees like the cousins of trees I knew from home, which was eerier than just having its own trees, and I’d sit in the bleachers watching the fog move through them and rain patter the leaves. The kids I coached were on the field punting soccer balls at the kid they picked on, or somersaulting around the track. One kid actually somersaulted the full 400 meters before staggering into the bushes. Every ten minutes a pair of jets thundered back from a flight, and no one on base could hear anything anyone said. On clear days you saw them, the dark arrows flying far ahead of the thunder they made, but there weren’t many clear days. The National Anthem sounded every evening at 1700h, and everyone stopped what they were doing. If you were driving, you stopped your car.

I coached with Laura, Alan and Gabby, all of us college kids on summer break. Laura knew someone in the base’s command, and we knew Laura, so there we were in England, expenses paid. By the time I arrived, the three of them had been there a week. They took me in the van the Air Force had issued us to the commissary, which was as big as the fighter jet hangars. Everything was in bins, and cost a dollar. Crates of cereal, coffee, fruit snacks, frozen fish sticks—a dollar. The lighting was harsh, not a shadow in sight. After the commissary we drove to the base up the road, where we were staying. They were closing that base, or scaling it back. Most of the buildings were shuttered. Still, at the gate, a guard with a machine gun checked our IDs. The building they gave us was an old barracks of fifty rooms. We could sleep anywhere. Continue Reading…

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The Flaneur: Moto Journals 4 — Moonland

The fourth in a seven-part series. Catch up with Part 1Part 2, and Part 3.

11:07 p.m. — Walking in a flashlight beam along the mani wall outside Lamayuru.

The mani wall is about four feet high, four feet wide, made of stacked stones and covered with flat slates on which ‘Om Mani Padme Hum’ is carved in Tibetan script over and over again.

The wall seems endless. Continue Reading…

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Interview: Abeer Hoque

abeerillustrationFor N12, we interviewed our contributors on their lives outside the notebook. Writer and photographer Abeer Hoque reflects on the difference between poetry and photography, relentless optimism and the virtues of brushing your teeth.

What was your least favorite stop on your round-the-world tour?

Agh. I’m a relentless optimist and hate trashing places. So keep in mind that I loved Santa Teresa, Costa Rica’s wild surfer beaches and hippie yoga vibe but hated the fact that some people broke into our hotel room and stole everything my friend and I owned, including my laptop, camera, and hard drive. Luckily I had a second drive hidden in my clothes (I’m a maniac about backing up), but I went dead broke replacing all my electronics. The silver lining (I warned you I was an optimist) was that I had been on the road for 3 years at that point, and had been fearing this exact moment, and when it happened, it really wasn’t all that terrible. But don’t tell my friend that because she hadn’t backed up any of her writing, photos, or music, and couldn’t stop crying. Continue Reading…

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Ka’ana Resort Takes You Off the Grid

THE THING ABOUT MOST LUXURY RESORTS is that you feel penned in after a while. Except for the ride to and from the airport, a guest never gets a sense of where, exactly, they are. Ka’ana Resort is breaking that mold. The five-star boutique adventure camp outpost in Western Belize gives you the slipper-and-robe treatment, while immersing guests in the country’s fascinating culture and history. Spend a rough-and-tumble day exploring jungle waterfalls and discovering Mayan ruins, then enjoy the meal of your life at the most luxurious, bespoke accommodations in Belize. Continue Reading…

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